What is Container Service for Kubernetes, Advantage and Architecture

Container Service for Kubernetes is a high-performance and scalable containerized application management service

Container Service for Kubernetes is a high-performance and scalable containerized application management service, which enables you to manage the entire lifecycle of enterprise-level containerized applications. Container Service for Kubernetes simplifies the deployment and scale-out operations of Kubernetes clusters and integrates Alibaba Cloud capabilities of virtualization, storage, networking, and security.

Based on these capabilities, Container Service for Kubernetes provides an ideal runtime environment for Kubernetes-based containerized applications. Container Service is one of the first certified service platforms that obtain the certificate of conformance from Kubernetes in the world. It provides professional support and services related to containers.

Container Service for Kubernetes provides the following three types of Kubernetes clusters: Dedicated Kubernetes clusters, Managed Kubernetes clusters, and Serverless Kubernetes clusters.

  • Dedicated Kubernetes cluster: You must create three master nodes and several worker nodes for a Dedicated Kubernetes cluster to achieve high availability. This type of Kubernetes cluster allows you to manage the cluster infrastructure in a more fine-grained manner. It requires you to plan, maintain, and upgrade the Kubernetes cluster on your own.
  • Managed Kubernetes cluster: You only need to create worker nodes. Container Service for Kubernetes creates and manages master nodes. This type of Kubernetes cluster is easy to use with low cost and high availability. You can focus on the business without the need to manage the master nodes of the Kubernetes cluster.
  • Serverless Kubernetes: You do not need to create and manage any master nodes or worker nodes. You can use the Container Service console or command-line interface to configure resources for containers, specify container images for applications, provide methods for external access, and start applications.

Features

  • Cluster management
    • Allows you to create a Dedicated Kubernetes cluster, Managed Kubernetes cluster, or Serverless Kubernetes cluster in an easy way through the Container Service console. You can create GPU instances and ECS Bare Metal (EMB) instances in the Kubernetes cluster. You can also create a cluster across multiple zones to achieve high availability.
    • Provides optimized OS images of Kubernetes containers and offers Kubernetes clusters and Docker versions with high stability and enhanced security.
    • Supports multi-cluster management, high-availability clusters across zones, and cluster federation management.
  • All-in-one container management
    • Network

      Provides high-performance Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and elastic network interface (ENI) plug-ins. The performance of these plug-ins is 20% better than the performance of regular network solutions.

      Supports container access policies and throttling.

    • Storage

      Supports Alibaba Cloud disks, Network Attached Storage (NAS) instances, and Object Storage Service (OSS) buckets, and provides standard FlexVolume drivers.

      Allows you to dynamically create and migrate volumes.

    • Logs

      Allows you to collect logs and deliver the collected logs to Log Service.

      Supports the integration with third-party open source logging solutions.

    • Monitoring

      Allows you to monitor containers at both the container level and virtual machine (VM) level. You can also integrate Container Service for Kubernetes with third-party open source monitoring solutions.

    • Access control

      Supports Resource Access Management (RAM) for authorization and management at the cluster level.

      Supports permission configuration and management at the application level.

    • Application management

      Supports phased release and blue-green release.

      Supports application monitoring and scaling.

      Supports the built-in application store and allows you to deploy applications in an easy way by using Helm.

      Supports Service Catalog to simplify cloud service integration.

  • High-availability scheduling policies and simple delivery processes
    • Supports affinity policies and horizontal scaling of services.
    • Provides high availability and disaster recovery across zones.
    • Provides API operations for cluster and application management to easily implement continuous integration and private system deployment.

Advantages of Container Service for Kubernetes

Ease of use

  • Supports creating Kubernetes clusters with one click in the Container Service console.
  • Supports upgrading Kubernetes clusters with one click in the Container Service console.

    You may have to deal with self-built Kubernetes clusters of different versions at the same time, including version 1.8.6, 1.9.4, 1.10, and later. Upgrading clusters each time brings you great adjustments and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs. Container Service upgrade solution performs rolling update by using images and uses the backup policy of complete metadata, which allows you to conveniently roll back to the previous version.

  • Supports expanding or contracting Kubernetes clusters conveniently in the Container Service console.

    Container Service Kubernetes clusters allow you to expand or contract the capacity vertically with one click to respond to the peak of the data analysis business quickly.

Powerful functions

 
FunctionDescription
Network 
  • High-performance Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network plug-in.
  • Supports network policy and flow control.

Container Service provides you with continuous network integration and the best network optimization.

Server Load Balancer 

Supports creating Internet or intranet Server Load Balancer instances.

If your self-built Kubernetes clusters are implemented by using the self-built Ingress, releasing the business frequently may cause pressure on Ingress configuration and higher error probabilities. The Server Load Balancer solution of Container Service supports Alibaba Cloud native high-availability Server Load Balancer, and can automatically modify and update the network configurations. This solution has been used by a large number of users for a long time, which is more stable and reliable than self-built Kubernetes.

Storage

Container Service integrates with Alibaba Cloud cloud disk, Network Attached Storage (NAS), and block storage, and provides the standard FlexVolume drive.

Self-built Kubernetes clusters cannot use the storage resources on the cloud. Alibaba Cloud Container Service provides the best seamless integration.

O&M
  • Integrates with Alibaba Cloud Log Service and CloudMonitor.
  • Supports auto scaling.
Image repository
  • High availability. Supports high concurrency.
  • Supports speeding up the pull of images.
  • Supports P2P distribution.

The self-built image repository may crash if you pull images from millions of clients at the same time. Enhance the reliability of the image repository by using the image repository of Alibaba Cloud Container Service, which reduces the O&M burden and upgrade pressure.

Stability 
  • The dedicated team guarantees the stability of the container.
  • Each Linux version and Kubernetes version are provided to you after strict tests.

Container Service provides the Docker CE to reveal all the details and promotes the repair capabilities of Docker. If you have issues such as Docker Engine hangs, network problems, and kernel compatibility, Container Service provides you with the best practices.

High availability
  • Supports multiple zones.
  • Supports backup and disaster recovery.
Technical support
  • Provides the Kubernetes upgrade capabilities. Supports upgrading a Kubernetes cluster to the latest version with one click.
  • Alibaba Cloud container team is responsible for solving problems about containers in your environment.

 

Architecture

Container Service for Kubernetes is adapted and enhanced on the basis of native Kubernetes. This service simplifies cluster creation and scaling and integrates Alibaba Cloud capabilities of virtualization, storage, networking, and security, providing the optimal environment to run Kubernetes-based containerized applications in the cloud.

Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes`

FeatureDescription
Multiple types of Kubernetes clustersIntegrated with virtualization technologies of Alibaba Cloud, Container Service for Kubernetes supports Dedicated Kubernetes clusters, Managed Kubernetes clusters, and Serverless Kubernetes clusters.

  • Dedicated Kubernetes cluster: ECS, Elastic GPU Service (EGS), and ECS Bare Metal (EMB) instances can all be used as cluster nodes. Instances support a wide range of plug-ins and can be flexibly configured to different specifications.
  • Managed Kubernetes cluster: Container Service for Kubernetes manages master nodes of a Managed Kubernetes clusters. You only need to create worker nodes. This type of Kubernetes cluster is easy to use with low cost and high availability. You can focus on the business without the need to manage the master nodes of the Kubernetes cluster.
  • Serverless Kubernetes cluster: Container Service for Kubernetes provides Serverless Kubernetes clusters that simplify underlying resource management, support flexible scaling, and reduce resource consumption.
Cluster management and controlContainer Service for Kubernetes provides a variety of cluster management and control features, such as networking, storage, hybrid cluster management, horizontal scaling, and application extension.
Kubernetes managementContainer Service for Kubernetes supports secure images and Helm, and is highly integrated with other Alibaba Cloud services, such as Resource Access Management (RAM), Key Management Service (KMS), Log Service, and CloudMonitor. Container Service for Kubernetes provides a secure and standard-compliant Kubernetes solution. It provides you with enhanced capabilities such as hybrid cloud, container security, continuous integration or continuous delivery (CI/CD), and DevOps.
Convenient and efficient useContainer Service for Kubernetes provides services through the web console, API, and SDK.

DevOps continuous delivery

Optimal continuous delivery process

Working with Jenkins, Container Service encompasses the complete process of DevOps from code submission to application deployment in an automated fashion. It makes sure that only codes passing the automated test can be delivered and deployed, and efficiently replaces the traditional method of complicated deployment and slow iteration in the industry.

Container Service can implement:

  • Automation of DevOps.

    The automation of the full process from code changes to code building, image building, and application deployment.

  • Consistency of environment.

    Container Service allows you to deliver not only code but also a running environment based on the immutable architecture.

  • Continuous feedback

    Results of each integration or delivery are fed back in real time.

We recommend that you use

Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and Container Service together.

Elastic Compute Service and Container Service together

Microservice architecture

Implement agile development and deployment to accelerate business iteration of enterprises

In the production environment of enterprises, microservices are divided reasonably and each microservice application is stored in the Alibaba Cloud image repository.  You only have to iterate each microservice application, and Alibaba Cloud provides the capabilities of scheduling, orchestration, deployment, and gated launch.

Container Service can implement:

  • Server Load Balancer and service discovery.

    Supports Layer-4 and Layer-7 request forwarding and backend binding.

  • Many policies of scheduling and exception recovery.

    Supports affinity scheduling at the level of services. Supports cross-zone high-availability and disaster recovery.

  • Microservice monitoring and auto scaling.

    Supports the monitoring at the level of microservices and containers. Supports auto scaling of microservices.

We recommend that you use 

ECS, Relational Database Service (RDS), Object Storage Service (OSS), and Container Service together.

Microservice architecture

Hybrid cloud architecture

Unified Operation and Maintenance of multiple cloud resources

Manage resources on and off the cloud at the same time in the Container Service console, without switching between multiple cloud consoles.  Deploy applications on and off the cloud at the same time by using the same image and orchestration based on the characteristics unrelated to the container infrastructure.

Container Service supports:

  • Scaling in and out applications on the cloud.

    Expand the capacity rapidly on the cloud at the business peak period to bring some business traffic to the cloud.

  • Disaster recovery on the cloud.

    Deploy business systems on and off the cloud at the same time to provide services off the cloud and provide disaster recovery on the cloud.

  • Development and test off the cloud.

    Release the applications seamlessly on the cloud after the development and test off the cloud.

We recommend that you use 

ECS, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and Express Connect together.

Hybrid cloud architecture

 

Auto scaling architecture

Automatic expansion/contraction for the business according to the business traffic

Container Service can automatically expand or contract the business according to the business traffic, without manual intervention. In this way, the system is not down because of traffic surge and not timely expansion, and the waste due to a large number of idle resources is avoided.

Container Service can implement:

  • Rapid response.

    Trigger the container expansion in seconds when the business traffic reaches the expansion indicator.

  • Full automation.

    The expansion or contraction process is fully automated, without manual intervention.

  • Low cost.

    Contract the capacity automatically when the traffic is reduced to avoid the waste of resources.

We recommend that you use 

ECS and CloudMonitor together.

Auto scaling architecture

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